The Scar I Wear in Pain (Part 1)

The Scar I Wear in Pain (Part 1)

Wide awake with full consciousness, I’m strapped tight on the stretcher while an ambulance rushes me to the hospital. My eyes can’t help but look out the back window. I am used to staring at cars pass by but this time I was watching to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Unsure of what would occur later in the night, I honestly could only use my brain to wonder why and how this was happening to me.

College in my mind was the place where I began hitting adulthood and figuring out who I was destined to become. You get to see where you want your life to go, what it takes for someone to be a friend of yours, and how to make it on your own. On the other end of this, being on your own in a brand-new environment can take a toll on your mental state. It may even drive the calmest of people to react to create damage that cannot be undone because of the trauma that is left. For me on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, I could not bear the emotions that were coming since the very first day of school.

On the outside looking in, some would have thought my first year was solid. I instantly became friends with some gifted people. I instantly began dating a very attractive and smart woman on campus and had the journey to complete my college career ready to be accomplished.

I think of myself as a dreamer. I thought I had my whole future planned out, from my career to my wife to even the number of kids I was going to have.

I never would be talking to my mother from a hospital phone. Having to tell her that her son was being admitted to a mental hospital. Truth be told, until this day I never told her the cause of it all.

All I could remember was her asking, “Nate, are you okay? What happened?”

“Nothing. ”

This was the only response that my voice could give without giving the impression that I was crying and hurting. The last words I had with the outside world were, “I … I don’t want to talk about it.

Not talking to my mother that night is still a regret of mine.

There are things that I had bottled. Things that didn’t sit well with me since I’ve never been away from my superhero. Would’ve told her the distance that was created when she moved to Virginia the day I had moved onto campus with my siblings created a sense of loss. Exactly 428.4 miles now separated me from my day ones.

I couldn’t tell her I was insecure, but I wish I did. It began with starting to second guess myself. Always having the thought of whether am I doing a good enough job? When the girlfriend you adore tells you that she cheated on you, the heart drops and that space where you feel it used to seems to be empty. Then, my grades began to fall. I was under an immense amount of pressure to do better. On top of this, I was no longer an athlete for the school I went to anymore, so I was desperate to find my niche in this new chapter.

The summer leading up to all these things was when my mother also told my brother and me she was at risk for ovary cancer.

Being so young without knowing how the human species can only control so much, I let all the thoughts and feelings run loose with my heart and my mind. I did not realize how young I was. You think you have seen everything there was to see, but in the bigger picture, you have not seen anything at all.

The weight got too heavy to carry. I wasn’t trying to harm myself but a couple more pills, and I could have done that exact thing. The only task I was looking to accomplish was taking the pain away. I just lost count after the sixth one.

Truthfully, words can never express how thankful I was for someone to see I was not well mentally and playing with fire at the same time.

Right after the ambulance dropped me off at the hospital, I had to give them my phone, laptop, bookbag, and even the batteries I had in my pocket. I probably spent an hour just waiting to see a doctor. Then, once I was seen by someone, they gave me two options.

“We are not comfortable with you leaving today for your safety. So we will let you decide. You can voluntarily enter yourself into the hospital and you will be released after 72 hours or you will be put in under involuntary, meaning the doctors decide when it’s the best time for you to leave.”

I didn’t like either one of these options. Who wants to be placed in a mental institution? The stigma behind these places is mostly negative. The words crazy, unstable, and suicidal were associated with these hospitals. What other choice did I have? I was not trying to be there longer than I needed to be. I was already missing valuable time elsewhere. So, I thought.

To get to the hospital, the doctors put me back on a stretcher. I never understood the purpose of this. Did they think I was going to run away? If I could, I wouldn’t even know where to go as I was completely unaware of where I was at. They rolled back into an ambulance to go to the other part of the hospital that held the mental institution. Again, taking me somewhere that I did not know of.

When we got to our destination and got into the hallways, I instantly thought of a prison. Maybe it was because of my mind space at the time, but from the brick walls to the freezing floors. I’ve never been arrested and being sent to this hospital ensured I would do everything not to ever see a cell.

The night was coming to an end. Before I could finally rest after going through the longest twelve hours of my life, my vitals had to get checked and I was offered a snack, but I surely couldn’t eat anything. All I was able to do was cry, cry, and cry.

Eventually, I went to the resting area. To see ten different people sleeping in one room immediately made me uncomfortable and uneasy. I lay there for about twenty minutes thinking about what just transpired. That was going to be on my brain the whole night on top of the fact that I was about to be locked away in a sense for three days.

I got up from the bed and went to the nurse they had on duty. I asked her, “Do you have anything that will help me go to sleep.”

I was given a Benadryl for the night. I was going to need one for every night I spent there.